MASSE DEMANDS IMMEDIATE RESTORATION OF CENSUS LONG FORM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 7, 2010

NDP DEMANDS IMMEDIATE RESTORATION OF CENSUS LONG FORM
Minister eliminating the essential data needed for cities’, provinces’ and federal decision making

Windsor – NDP Industry Critic Brian Masse M. P. (Windsor West) called on the government to immediately restore the mandatory census long form which collects essential information needed by all levels of government to make numerous policy decisions ranging from affordable housing to public transit to health services.

“This is outrageous that the Industry Minister would turn the census long form, an elemental tool used in the government policy decision process, into a voluntary customer service response card put out by direct marketers,” Masse stated. “His sham wow infomercial tactics is not how you run the national census.”

Industry Minister Tony Clement, after conducting no consultations, has converted the mandatory census long form long form which was sent to one-fifth of Canadian to a voluntary “national survey” which will be sent to one-third of Canadians. Statistics Canada has estimated that the change could cost $ 30 million.

Many groups including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian Council on Social Development and individuals such as the former Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada are against the change. The quality of data collected voluntarily becomes unusable and cannot be compared over time. No other country makes part of it national census voluntary. The federal long form census is the only comprehensive data collected in Canada to examine in a granular systematic way information on Canadians in their local neighbourhoods.

“The Harper Conservatives’ action to degrade the national census by making what is mandatory into voluntary exposes their complete abandonment of facts when making decisions. This needs to be reversed immediately or else fact-free policy making will be imposed on every government across the country,” Masse declared.


-30-